September has come and passed, and with it the MLB regular season has ended.
Now, as we head into the cold months of October, baseball truly begins to shine.
The MLB playoffs begin Oct. 6, and with it, the journey to the World Series.
Countless teams are in the hunt, but only one can be crowned champion of the major leagues.
This year’s is a bit more difficult to predict, as there are some high caliber teams.
From the St. Louis Cardinals, to the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Toronto Blue Jays, the talent and potential for each team is endless.
Inconsistency and another myriad of problems keep me from tabbing the Buccos for fall glory.
Rather, I see our next reigning champs coming from the American League in the form of the Kansas City Royals.
After having fallen short at tasting victory last year, the Royals will be eager to get back into the World Series picture.
That will be the main drive and motivation for them come this postseason
But that isn’t the sole reason why Kansas City will win the World Series.
Pitching will play a huge role in securing their victory.
Yes, the Royals’ pitching rotation struggled all through the month of September, and yes it’s not a good sign when each of your starting five pitchers posts an ERA over 4.30 in that same month.
Given the stellar numbers the Royals’ pitchers posted before last month, this snag is more than likely temporary.
Before the September slump, Kansas City’s ERA ranged from a low of 3.10 to a high of 3.82, and there’s no reason that they can’t return to that form again.
With the temptation of returning to the Fall Classic looming over their heads as an added incentive, we could very well see a resurgence in the Royals’ pitching rotation in no time.
If the pitching has some people doubting about a Kansas City World Series win, then maybe the Royals’ bullpen can convince them otherwise.
The bullpen was a hallmark of the team’s World Series run last year, and it performed strongly throughout the 2015 season as well.
Only until recently has their dominating luster diminished slightly, but that looks to be rectified in time for the playoffs.
The trio of Greg Holland, Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera has been a formidable force.
Throw in some stellar hitting, and you have a well-rounded team on your hands.
So, yes, while there are some questions concerning the Royals and their capabilities, I think this will be their year.
Maybe I’m still living in the glory days when the Pittsburgh Penguins defied the odds and won the Stanley Cup after having lost it the previous year, but I don’t think so.
I think that when push comes to shove, the Royals will prove that they are champions.